find the last Olympia behind the scenes of the “slightly aged dandy”


In March 2002, he returned to the stage, at the Olympia, after twenty-eight years of absence. Rehearsals, backstage, breaks in the intimacy of his home studio, a replica of his apartment on the boulevard du Montparnasse, in Paris, cluttered with curiosities, photographs, paintings, posters, figurines, jukeboxes, vinyls , pin-ups… Before and during the concert, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Ange Leccia worked like cats to follow Christophe and capture these fragile moments, in the halo of spotlights, red and blue lights; or completely extinguished, drawing a white silhouette, overexposed, radiating on a black background, like a negative which, today, takes on a spectral character. At the time we discover these images, twenty-one years have passed, and the singer-songwriter is no longer, carried away on April 16, 2020 by a lung disease, at the age of 74.

Neither comments nor questions come to interfere in this impressionist encounter to which the two filmmakers invite us. Only the music, the words of his songs or those that Christophe agrees to deliver come to maintain this feeling of closeness that the film installs by the discretion, the slow movement, the brushings and the blur of the camera.

In the saturated lights of the stage, the singer adjusts, asks for the note, corrects – “too short”, “opens the reverb” – complains about the color of the words on the teleprompter – they are purple, he wants them red. Voice test, guitar test, silence, small annoyances. Marmoreal face, rare gesture, sharp gaze of a bird of prey hidden behind round smoked glasses, Christophe fascinates as much as he escapes us.

Maniac and esthete

Suspended in the contemplation of each of his poses, we welcome the slightest confidence as a gift. There are few. His history ? He tells it by solemnly listing the long list of films that have accompanied him: Breathless, La Belle Américaine, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Crash, Beauty and the Beast, Time of the Gypsies, Blue Velvet, Woman’s Perfume, The Truth, Mouthwatering, The Valseuses, Star Wars, Psychosis… » His childhood ? He evokes it sitting on the ground, in his dressing room, while he cuts the neckline of a T-shirt with scissors. “My mother was a seamstress, did you know that? », he says, avoiding any useless phrase, but attentive to the little things that make beautiful things. Maniac, esthete, slightly aged dandy who applies kohl to his eyes, pushes back a lock ten times, treats himself to a glass of champagne. Before going on stage, dressed entirely in black.

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